It’s no news flash that the internet is the way of the world. It is a means of communicating mass, read news, share big events in our life with friends, and secure a job if we are lucky. Companies are doing away with paper and moving to online platforms, and LinkedIn has proven itself to be an incredibly important platform, particularly for employers wanting to find their next star recruit.
So, what does that mean for job seekers? You need an impressive LinkedIn profile! The basis of LinkedIn is to display your experience and skills. Many people think of it as an online resume, but there is a lot more flexibility and creativity to be had with this “online resume”. This sounds great, but it can be intimidating looking at a blank template for a LinkedIn profile page. Fear not, because there are plenty of ways to turn your profile page from bland to brilliant! These five tips will help you get the most out of your LinkedIn profile with ease:
1. Delete the Selfie
Your profile picture should be professional but inviting. Forget using the cropped photo from last weekend that you have as your Facebook profile picture. It is a good idea to take a specific photo for your LinkedIn page if you don’t have a professional photo on file.
There are a couple things to keep in mind when taking your photo. The first thing is to look the part. Dress how you would dress for an interview. Secondly, make sure the focus is on you, not the background. Pick a place with a calm backdrop so your employer will focus on you and not the distracting scenery behind you. Last, but not least, pay attention to the lighting. You want to look like your best self in this photograph. Natural lighting is always a great way to go!
2. Keyword: “keywords”
When your potential future boss reads your profile, you want to showcase that you are educated in not only the field of work, but the terminology within that field. This does not mean that every line needs to be complicated, but it is helpful to use words that are relevant to your field of expertise. This will catch an employer’s eye when they come across your profile.
Keywords will also make your profile easier to find. There is a function on LinkedIn that allows you to search the website by keywords. This is great as your profile will come up if you have used appropriate key words or phrases in your profile. This will make your profile much more viewable!
3. Recommendations really do matter
When looking to hire someone, most employers try to imagine the candidate as a part of their team and how they could be a good fit. Typically, this is not an easy task for the potential employer. However, with the right recommendations on your LinkedIn profile it will make it a bit easier. It displays credibility and confirms the skill set you have listed. It is very easy to request a recommendation on LinkedIn. Here’s how:
Go to the member’s profile page that you want to receive a recommendation from.
a. Click the “More” icon (looks like three little squares) to the right of their profile picture.
b. Click “Request a recommendation”.
c. Fill out the Relationship and Position at the time fields.
d. Click “Next”. Personalize the message if needed and then click “Send”.
4. Be Social
Making connections on LinkedIn is so crucial. It may be something that seems self-explanatory, but just connecting with previous employers and co-workers is not enough. If you have left school, that alumni association will come in handy here! If you’re not a part of the association, connect with professors, employers, other students in your field, family and friends. The more legitimate connections the better.
Groups are often overlooked by the average LinkedIn user. Joining groups that pertain to your field of work not only shows you are engaged, but it opens up so many doors for other connections, allows you to talk with people who are in your field, and see what they’ve done with their LinkedIn profiles. A resume is an ever changing thing, and your LinkedIn profile should be too.
5. Customize your URL
This may not seem like a huge deal, but when you send out a link to your page and the link is long and cumbersome, it will neither resonate with your employer nor look clean on the page. Often jobs will want your LinkedIn URL on your resume. If you have a link that is two lines of text, it is not visually appealing. The best way to customize your URL is to use your first and last name. Changing your URL is not as complicated as it seems.
a. Click the “Me” icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
b. Click on “Privacy and Settings”.
c. Click the privacy tab at the top.
d. Click “Edit your public profile”. This will take you to a new page.
e. On the right sidebar there will be a heading that says “Edit your public profile”. Click on the blue pen and customize the last part of the URL and click save.
Happy Job Hunting!
Agent Intern Shannon